Entrepreneur Tina Sagal turned her passion for fashion into a dress shop that specializes in like-new consignment wedding and special-occasion dresses. She launched her company, Tina’s Dress Boutique, after working with the SBDC at UW-Parkside on startup strategies and business planning.
Sagal’s marketing and networking savvy quickly set her business on the runway to success. The Racine Downtown Corporation named Tina’s Dress Boutique “Best New Small Business” for capturing the attention of the marketplace.
Sagal attended the SBDC’s First Step workshop before enrolling in the Entrepreneurial Training Program to learn business skills and write a business plan. One-on-one consulting with UW-Parkside SBDC director Jim McPhaul helped her refine her plan and put it to work.
“The SBDC was there for me during the business plan writing, helping me with my marketing analysis and with my financials,” says Sagal.
Sagal’s business plan enabled her to secure startup funding through a Racine County Minority Matching Grant and a loan from the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC).
She rented space in a Racine flower shop and put her marketing plan into action.
“My February sales were unbelievable,” says Sagal, who plans to grow her business. “My goal is to get into the Milwaukee market as much as possible.”
Sagal continues to work with McPhaul at the SBDC as she creates a growth strategy.
“There are many women out there that have had a lot of challenges in their lives and don’t know where to go next,” says Sagal. “WWBIC and the SBDC gave me the support and the knowledge that I needed to succeed.”